The little one. The short one. February. 28 days instead of the usual 30 or 31 – and yet there is so much to do that it would be enough for two months. Welcome to 2019! It is and remains a fast-paced world, in which we rush from appointment to appointment and try to accommodate our hobbies and families in between. It goes without saying that a lot will fall by the wayside. Exercise, sport and recreation are often neglected. But also in this area there are new trends, which adapt themselves to the requirements of today’s time. They have to be entertaining, effective and healthy.
A major current topic is EMS training, electromyostimulation. The muscles are pulled together again and again by electrical stimuli – common exercises such as knee bends and the like become more effective as a result. The EMS training is particularly useful to counteract the reduction of muscles or to reduce existing pain. For example, if you sit in front of the computer for long periods of time – often in the wrong posture – in everyday life, you can rebuild the muscles that are understrained as a result using EMS training. It also stimulates regeneration, can be used to increase endurance or stimulate fat burning. A panacea then? No, certainly not, because that would be too easy. But the trend can be an excellent supplement to conventional training. Above all, EMS training is “full 2019”, because the first training successes can be seen twice 20 minutes a week. Perfect for the already stressful everyday life in which there is no time for long, regular training phases. The only question left is where to get EMS training? The answer: With Pfitzenmeier. Wellness, fitness and health are one thing there anyway, trends have been sought and established for over 40 years now. So EMS training fits perfectly with Pfitzenmeier’s philosophy and is a contemporary form of training for everyone – according to Sabrina Bender, the EMS trainer who was our interview partner at Pfitzenmeier this month.
Delta im Quadrat, Tim Fischer: What can you tell us about your career as an EMS trainer?
Sabrina Bender: I saw Strom am Körper for the first time during my internship in the physiotherapy practice. During my career as a personal trainer, I have gained more and more practical experience, so that I can accompany people with orthopaedic symptoms, people who generally want to get fitter, but also competitive athletes, including even an Ironman participant.
DiQ: How did the EMS training come about and what was the main objective in its development and introduction?
SB: The EMS training is originally from the rehabilitation sector. It was mainly used to prevent muscle atrophy and reduce pain. Already in the 70’s it was used by competitive athletes to improve their performance. At the beginning of the 1980s, maximum strength increases of 30 to 40 percent were achieved in test subjects.
DiQ: In your opinion, what are the reasons for the success of EMS training and its growing popularity? What further developments do you see in EMS training with a view to the coming years?
SB: We live in a time when everything has to be done as quickly as possible – including training. EMS training is a good way to do this.
Possibility: With two units of 20 minutes each per week, it can be perfectly integrated into the clocked daily routine. With a single device it is possible to cover different modes of action, so you don’t need a large number of different training tools. The current can not only build up muscles, but also serves to promote regeneration.
EMS training can also be used to stabilise the muscle corset, build up deep muscles, train endurance and the cardiovascular system, stimulate fat burning, reduce weight and train metabolism. As far as the development in the coming years is concerned, I am very open. I think the manufacturers will come up with something. But in view of the past years I assume that in any case there will still be some changes in the general preparation – the devices will certainly become somewhat smaller and more handy. DiQ: What (new) possibilities of training does EMS-Training offer? What are the advantages over conventional training methods? Are there disadvantages?
SB: I work in a gym where different training methods are offered. The EMS training has above all a depth effect, in which also the deep-seated muscles are addressed. Eccentric movements can also provide additional stimulation. As already mentioned, I see a particular advantage in the small amount of time required, but also in the various possible applications. Above all one can do it super with common exercises. As a special advantage I would like to mention that the training is holistic. Despite “only” 20 minutes you start sweating, and after only a few weeks physical differences are visible and noticeable. On the subject of “disadvantages”: time and again, one hears about increased CK values in the blood in connection with EMS training. However, these are released from the musculature during any conventional intensive muscle training. So don’t be afraid here!
DiQ: For which clinical pictures or patients can the EMS training be used particularly well? What are the advantages compared to common treatment and training methods? Are there any side effects?
SB: There are a multitude of possibilities to use EMS training. The most important area of application is for complaints that can be traced back to a deficient or weakened musculature. This is particularly the case with back or joint complaints, or with lack of exercise or complaints that can be traced back to a lack of exercise, for example after prolonged immobility. EMS training can also be used to rebuild muscles after joint surgery, multiple sclerosis or stroke patients or after pregnancy. As already mentioned, EMS training is a total body workout. All muscles are always addressed, so that the focus is not only on the weakened part of the body, but also on the other areas. Everything in the body is connected with each other and therefore you should see it as a whole.
EMS training does not replace a physiotherapist or sports therapist. As a rule, there are no disadvantages, but you should check beforehand whether there are any contraindications, i.e. illnesses for which this training method would be counterproductive. This could be the case for patients with pacemakers or people with epilepsy; even during pregnancy it is better not to do EMS training. After the pregnancy it makes sense in any case!
DiQ: Finally, tell us how long your muscle soreness was after your first EMS training experiences?
SB: I had about two days – a pleasant one! – Sore muscles. But I have to say that I felt above all the muscles that I cannot stimulate in a normal training to the extent that EMS can, that is: the deep muscles.